New Rules of Adventure: The Northeast
From backcountry skiing to DIY surfboard building, the Northeast is rewriting the rules of adventure
The Northeast, from upstate New York to New England, has always been home to incredible landscapes and outdoor playgrounds. But a modern breed of adventurers is redefining exploration in the region—see below for three new rules of Northeastern adventure. Want more? We teamed up with Land Rover to round up some of the country's coolest modern adventures.
Rule #1: Snow Isn't Just for Skiing
“People come here to let the outside world melt away,” says Elsa Schultz, the general manager of Highland Lodge in Greensboro, Vermont, “our cabins have no cell service or Wi-Fi, as we seek to create a bubble of peace and quiet and calm.” This historic B&B and its surrounding private cabins with kitchenettes sprawl across 123 acres on the shores of Caspian Lake, in Vermont’s storied Northeast Kingdom. A spidery network of quiet gravel roads, many of which are used by the 70- and 100-kilometer Rasputista Spring Classic gravel races, are right out the door. The 100 miles of East Burke’s Kingdom Trail singletrack network are a 40-minute drive away, and open for fat-biking, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing. The lodge is also connected to the nordic trails of Craftsbury Outdoor Center, which also grooms separate fat-bike and snowshoe loops.
Rule #2: The Northeast Has Legit Mountains Too
“Mount Washington is the iconic peak of the Northeast,” says Mark Synnott, renowned mountaineer, author, and owner of Synnott Mountain Guides. His company offers a one-day Intro to Backcountry Skiing course at Tuckerman Ravine or the Gulf of Slides, both on the slopes of Mount Washington. There’s no better time than now to learn the essentials of backcountry skiing, when many lift-served ski resorts have COVID rules that limit ticket sales or require advanced reservations. Synnott’s one-day course covers skinning up and kick-turning down, avalanche awareness, and taking care of gear. Synnott recommends staying in North Conway at the one-of-a-kind Adventure Suites, which has themed rooms, such as a Flintstones-esque “cave” and a Haunted Castle suite.
Rule #3: The Best Surfboard Is the One You Build
DIY home-improvement projects have skyrocketed in popularity, but Grain Surfboards, a sustainable-surfboard company based in York, Maine, takes it to the next level, offering four-day wooden-surfboard-making workshops. With a class size limited to four people (50 percent of its normal capacity), a set of tools for each participant, and ample cleaning supplies at each station, Grain will send you home with a chest full of pride and an exquisitely shaped board. “So far it’s feeling very safe,” says founder Mike Lavecchia. “Our shop is pretty open-air, and we work outside as much as possible.” Stay at the elegant waterfront Stonesthrow Boutique Hotel overlooking Long Sands Beach.